Faith

‘Islamapalooza’ Arrives at Florida University

It's Muslim Appreciation Month, with a goal of conversion smothered in henna tattoos, falafels, and samosas

As part of the opening ceremonies for Muslim Appreciation Month at the University of Florida, the sponsoring organization, Islam on Campus-UF, held a two-day “Islamapalooza,” or the Muslim fair.

As the Alligator, the newspaper of the University of Florida put it, Islamapalooza — the opening act in a weeks-long affair that concludes on Oct. 24 — included booths where students could “get henna tattoos, play trivia about Islam, and eat falafels, pita, and samosas.”

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Sounds tame enough. But the sponsoring Islam on Campus-UF gives a deeper explanation of the religious-laced lessons behind all the food, fun, and games.

“Islam on Campus is a student organization at the University of Florida devoted to strengthening and uniting the Muslim community on campus through service, activism, educational and social activities as well as to spreading awareness and educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike about the religion of Islam,” according to the organization’s Facebook page.

Or, as those of the Christian faith like to call it — fellowshipping and evangelizing.

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But apparently, put a tattoo on it and offer pita bread, and it’s not a religious event that raises questions and concerns about equal access and equal treatment. What about a Christian Appreciation Month, for instance, or a Jewish Appreciation Month, or a Buddhist Appreciation Month — or even a Satanists Appreciation Month?

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Rather, it’s an “Islamapalooza!” — exclamation mark included. Nothing but fun and games, tattoos and pitas, with just the lightest sprinkling of facts about the religion.

But let’s be real here. What’s taking place during Muslim Appreciation Month, also called Islam Appreciation Month, is an outreach to students and others to teach about the Muslim religion, with the ultimate goal to convert, subtle as that may be.

The outreach-slash-evangelism on the Islam on Campus Facebook page doesn’t pull punches that it’s Allah, not Jesus, not Buddha, that’s the supposed proper deity or entity to follow. In a rather detailed explanation of what passes for appropriate Muslim etiquette, the post reads, in part: “When entering or leaving your house, acknowledge those inside. Use the greeting that is unique to Muslims and which is the label of Islam.”

What’s this “label of Islam,” exactly? Well, in Arabic first, then English, comes this translation: “Peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you.”

Specifically, readers are told: “Do not forego this Islamic greeting by replacing it with something else such as ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Hello.’ This will lead to the ‘Salam’ [greeting] eventually being totally abandoned. This greeting is the salient feature of Islam. It is the label of the Muslims which Nabi [a prophet] prescribed by his action and statement and it is that which he taught to his attendant.”

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Note that this post is not about tattoos, or Muslim food, or even about commonsense Miss Manners-like instructions for secular society at large. It’s purely religious teachings, offered to those who might be interested in knowing how Islam instructs on even the seeming smallest of affairs — a greeting among friends.

Note, too, that Muslim Appreciation Month is not really about festivals and fairs and trying out foods from a different culture — it’s about spreading the word of Islam, the teaching of the Quran, and the beliefs of the Muslim community as far and wide as possible.

The endeavor wouldn’t even be objectionable if it came complete with equal access.

This is an exercise in political correctness for the Left.

Where’s the Jewish Appreciation Month at the University of Florida, or the Christian Appreciation Month?

Could you imagine the outrage from CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations?

Lest it be said the University of Florida’s pro-Muslim event is one of a kind, uncommon in spots around the nation, there’s this: California’s State Assembly voted a few months ago to recognize August 2016 as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month. Cross America’s northern borders into Canada, and it’s more of the same. Ontario just declared October to be Islamic Heritage Month.

On the spread north, Christine Williams writes in Jihad Watch: “Why are Muslims getting special treatment above every other religious group? Why is Hinduism not being recognized with a Hindu heritage month? What about Buddhism? Christianity? Sikhism? Toaism? Shintoism? Jainism? Cheondoism? Hedonism? Atheism? What makes Islam more special or more foundational to [national] heritage than any other religion or belief system?”

In a word: liberalism.

But take heed. This slow creep of Muslim influence into Western societies masked by those on the far Left as an expression of diversity is anything but a welcome mat for diversity. Rather, it’s an exercise in political correctness for the Left, an opportunity for conversions for Muslims — and a loss of equal access and freedom of religious expression for all those outside the Islam faith.

Cheryl Chumley, @ckchumley, is a freelance writer and author. Her second book, “The Devil in D.C.: Winning Back the Country from the Beast in Washington,” was published in March 2016. 

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